Sunday, November 30, 2014

Blogs vs. Real Life

                    I think my discussion blog posts are very different from those of my scholarly writing articles/papers that I do here at UW-Madison. The major differences would include how I attack issues and opinions. My opinion in a right-minded class will also be right-minded. Truthfully, I will agree with what will get me the best grade. Some Professors here are very opinionated and if you are not on their side, you’re also not on the A grade side. In LIS 201 I found out early on how it is ok to have your own opinion and how it’s good to challenge not just others beliefs but your own as well. 
                      I think the “truest” self-presentation of me would be on the blog post vs. my scholarly assignments. On the contrary, I think my talents are shown best via scholarly assignments. I can prove a point, whether I am for it or not, with evidence and support. Online and on the LIS blog I make a lot of conclusions without having evidence to back myself up. In the end I think online blogs allow more social, easy language where I can be comfortable in what I say and think.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

My Father on Information Technology

     I decided to talk with my father about some of the information technology he uses as an electrical engineer and how exactly they've aided him in his work.  Almost immediately he began to divulge into some of the mathematical programs he implements on a regular basis.  He said that these programs make his work a lot easier and.  What used to take six or seven different engineers, he can do by himself at the comfort of his computer.  One of the programs he uses is AutoCAD (a 3D designing program).  With the program he has the ability to visualize and imagine what a certain product will look like as well as behave before his company ends up creating it (again, saving them both time and money).  He said that although these programs make his job easier, the company he is employed under has taken this as an opportunity to pursue more and more difficult projects.  All in all, my Father is very happy with the new innovations and opportunities these information technologies provide.  He’s doing things at triple the rate he was before and with much higher accuracy and precision.  The one point he emphasized is that, although our computers are getting more and more intelligent, we shouldn't take this as a signal to become less and less educated in our respective fields.  Instead, we should pursue an even higher understanding and work this incredible technology to its full potential.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Blog Reflections

After looking at my blog posts, I noticed I presented myself, for the most part, in a professional and coherent manner.  I was happy with the way I presented myself and, even though they may have been the occasional typo, most of what I discussed was powerful and unique content.  I also think my writing is a lot more developed as the semester progressed.  (I think I got more comfortable with the blog format).   Something specific about my writing I’ve discovered is that I am very direct and to the point.  This isn’t necessarily a bad thing but maybe I could consider adding a bit more humor when appropriate or a touch of “uniqueness” that brings my posts out from the rest.  I think my favorite posts I did was my article reports.  I made a lot of powerful insights about the reading, had a diverse vocabulary, and, overall, the composition of the post was very strong.  One observation that I’m glad to have made is that my writing is continuously improving.


Overall after looking through my blog posts, I seem to present myself differently depending on what we are writing about specifically. For example, in the first post where we were supposed to introduce ourselves to the class, I took a much more relaxed approach in my writing with some sarcasm sprinkled in in order to try and express how I am as a person (I really am a relaxed person who loves sarcasm in real life). This is in contrast to other blog posts such as where you had to blog about a certain reading you were assigned. I took a much more informative approach in writing it with a much more serious tone. I think in discussion in general, I tend to stay away from being sarcastic and trying to come up with thought provoking ideas to discuss. I do remember a couple times of adding a little humor to things I was saying, but overall I took on a more informative approach. I believe that posts such as the first blog post is able to express my "talents" the best because I got to really add my own personal flair to my writing and be creative and I love creative writing!


After looking at all my semester blog posts, I feel that other than the article assignment, I was informed, but casual. This was similar to how I participated in class. I brought up arguments, but it was effective because it was meant to stimulate discussion over a different viewpoint. For the formal writing assigments, however, I found myself improving on the way I write. The peer review, outlines, and writing center all helped and I found myself looking for ways I could connect to my thesis. This approach is effective with formal/scholarly assignments, but with discussion related assignments, I found it more effective to make it more casual and easy to comprehend.


I organized all my postings in to a word document and I was actually really surprised. When I remember writing the posts, I remember not being worried about punctuation and grammar, and the main thing was to get your ideas out. I don't remember every proofreading a discussion post either. However, my posts are very accurate in terms of spelling and punctuation, and it's basically how I would have wrote/sounded like if it were a rough draft of a paper or maybe even a paper. I think it's because I usually do the proofreading step as I write something; I'll reread the sentence I just wrote to make sure it works. I still read over my work usually, but there's less mistakes. So I think that while I spend much more time and effort on exams and papers and things like that in this class, it might not look that way in how my blogs are written. I think I was just expecting a lot more errors and bad punctuation.
I think my best work is still easily the papers and exams because I'm fully conscious of accuracy as well as putting the best possible content down. My true self is probably the blogs in the sense that I still can write well in terms of spelling and grammar, and it's all my ideas written down free of the stress because your not necessarily graded on if your ideas are wrong in your blog.

Reflection of writing

I feel like I sound more scholarly/formal in my writing rather than in my blog post.  The idea of a blog post makes me feel more relaxed and so some things that I say in early blog post may sound slightly informal.  My final papers for class have been much better writings of mine,  They are a better reflection of my ideas and writing skills.  The project that I'mm most proud of in this class is my ignite project.  I'm not sure how well I did on it because it hasn't been peer reviewed or graded yet but I actually enjoyed doing the project and got to express my ideas in a new way.  The narration of aspect of the project was really cool and it challenged me to take my time when I speak because if I jumbled my words I would have to start the recording all over again.  This was a nice representation of my work and personality as a whole.


After looking through my first writings to my most current writings, I feel like the way I structure my writing has been something that has changed the most. I've never considered myself a great writer, but after doing all the different assignments for this class (which make you utilize different aspects of writing), I feel like I'm just improved as a writer overall, even if it just a small improvement. I really think I'm going to benefit from the papers because I learned how to find scholarly articles, and how to structure a paper properly. Overall, I feel that this class really benefited me, and I would recommend it to others who felt like me.

Monday, November 24, 2014


          After I organized all my blog post into a word document, I noticed that the way I presented myself through online was very much different from other aspects in LIS 201. Coming from an international background, I feel more comfortable in articulating points through online than in a physical classroom. In a classroom discussion, I would have to organize my thoughts and try to translate that into English before I get to express my opinions out loud. Conversely, in online assignments, I am able to sit down in my personal space and efficiently organize my ideas when writing a new blog post. Moreover, I am not constrained by time and free from anxiety, which I would of had when taking exams. Thus, the most effective method that worked in presenting my thoughts was through online assignments.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

I Am Malala

I am Malala is a true story about a Muslim girl who stood up for her right to education in Swat Valley, Pakistan. On October 9th, 2012 Malala was shot in the head on her way home from school by Taliban gunmen who opposed girls attending school. At this time she was 15 years old. Almost exactly one year later she published her first book. At age 16, she became the youngest candidate to win the Global Peace Prize. Malala now is age 17, living in Birmingham, England. Malala continues to fight for women rights and education in Pakistan.
            I attended a Go Big Read Event where we discussed key points in the book, as well as how they relate to our society in the United States. I really enjoyed the book and was enlightened to hear others perspectives. We all practice different religions which resulted in us all seeing the book through different lenses. There was multiple main topics but because of our different backgrounds we all saw a different overall focus. I saw religion, some saw war, and others saw education. I think I was fixed on religion because it seemed like religion was where the problem grew from. The Taliban and extreme Muslims think women are too afraid to go to school, and should be hidden at all times. They think this because in some parts of their holy text, the Quran,  can imply such things. More modern Muslims do not see these implications and think women should have equal rights, which the Taliban does not like.       
What interested me the most on our discussion was when we talked about the Co. Author Christina Lamb. We all agreed that the way Malala spoke combined with her analogies resembled a lot of Western ideas. She mentioned Betty Crocker and Twilight in a few parts of her book.  In the book we learn that Malala is very poor and could barely pay for books for class. Could she spend money watching a movie but not buying books? Is this Malala really talking? Or is the Co Author and editors adding material to appeal to our western eye? I am not a skeptic person but I enjoyed hearing this point other women in our discussion brought up. Whether it is edited for our western view or not, through media and technology this book allowed us to see what is going on in another part of the world, and the help these children need.


I played a game that involved learning about the history of Freakfest. It starts by showing an image or a recent student (I believe) named Michael Smith. I tapped on his name and you basically have a simulated conversation that tells you how Freakfest used to be and how it came to be how it is now. I learned that it used to be controlled by the city, and that there weren't any concerts or bands that came to play, instead it was just thousands of people gathering on state street, drinking, and freezing their butts off. Today it is more like an actual event that we have, where you have to pay to get it, and there is a multiple music venues that you can see. The app gives you a website to learn more about the history of Freakfest, but I thought I'd just stick to the basics.

Overall, this app is interesting because it allows you to find out about so much of UW Madison's history, and it is interactive because a lot of the games require that you walk to certain places around campus to add to your "inventory". Although a lot of these games are quite simple and boring, this is an app that isn't like many others I've seen. It's a unique and cool idea.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Joshua the friendly ghost

When we sat down to play this game, we thought it was just going to be an ordinary game. We chose the game “Henry Mall History” under the “Location Specific” category. We were confused whether or not we had to actually go to the locations listed, so we just zoomed out on the map and clicked on the descriptions. We then gained “Inventory,” which was basically just knowledge points.
            We all agreed that our favorite part was being led by “Ghost Joshua”. His name was Joshua Lederburg and he used to teach and research here at UW-Madison. They convince you to walk with Joshua and help “lead him home”. We learned many different things about the different buildings and Joshua’s research at UW leading to him receiving the Nobel Prize in Physiology in 1957.

            In relation to our last discussion, we realized we liked this app due to its game-like features. After following the trail we found out that there was no prize, but simply a “Congratulations!”. It also states “You’ve gained some knowledge! Now, how will you use your knowledge to make the world a better place?”. At first we were a little offended for just a “Congrats!”, but after the part about making the world a better place, we realized how our upbringing of games and technology made us expect a prize that is not always earned. We wonder if games were played without the competitive factor, would people still play them?

-Brooke Francis, Georgia May, Jennie Russnow

“Ghost Joshua”


While an interesting concept, the Manpower website isn't used enough to be valuable at all. Unless they can somehow convince both employers & potential employees to use the site, nobody is going to bother to start, which is an interesting circular problem (similar to the value of social networks equaling the users-squared, that we discussed in class).

I searched first for my hometown in Tennessee, which did not have any posted jobs available. Next, I searched for the town in which my parents currently work (not huge, but larger than my hometown). Again, no posted jobs available. Lastly I searched for Madison, WI, which had 11 posted jobs available.

Aris smh

This game had to be one of the most boring games I've EVER played and I've played some pretty boring games in my lifetime.  They are many variables that contributed to this bad review of the game.  For one the game seriously lacked any creativity.  I had to walk around campus and my GPS on my iPad confirmed whether I was at the correct location or not.  That was the first strike because it didn't seem like much of a game at all but more like a virtual tour that I didn't really need.  Another reason I didn't enjoy this game because it didn't seem like a game at all.  Games are supposed to be fun or at least moderately entertaining at the very worst.  This game wasn't either which is quite tragic. This was the second strike towards the game.  Finally, I didn't enjoy the game because of the whether of Madison.  It's not really the games fault that it was FREEZING outside but the fact that I had to walk around to complete tasks was a bit of a nuisance in the cold whether.  I looked at other games within Aris to see if any of the places that I could go were indoors but I could find any.  This was the third strike against the game and it gave me the thought that this was a bad game and it was boring.

I see that one of the other groups were having troubles with theirs, which was also a problem I had at one point.  This game was quite tragic and needs to be improved so that it can be more fun.  Now, once thing positive I can say about it is that it does provide information about the places that I went after I completed the tasked and it gives you an opportunity to see the campus if you haven't really been around it before.  Overall, I wasn't entertained by the game but if some type of fun exercise was included in the game along with the historical information included in it, it might be slightly more fun!


The game we played was called Henry Mall History and it was more of an educational tool than a game. Basically, what you had to do was walk to Henry Mall and when you approached a building you looked on the map on your phone and touched the picture of the building you were at. It then gave a brief history of that building. You continued to do that for every building on Henry Mall. Although the historic descriptions were brief, you did learn a lot, especially if you didn't have any previous knowledge about each building. One cool thing we learned is that there was a high school called Wisconsin High School located on Henry mall that operated from 1914-1990. It was then raised in order to construct the biotech building we currently have here on campus.
The "game" aspect of the game came in the form of a cheesy plot line including the ghost of Joshua Lederberg (who was a Nobel Prize winner and an assistant professor here) and then something about collecting mice?!?! That was kind of confusing. But overall, these games can be educational and it's cool that you can interact with your phone screen and reality at the same time. Although this probably wasn't the best example of the potential these games have, this could develop into something bigger and have a significant educational impact.

-Kassidy, Jay H, John


i dont think i've ever had less fun doing any sort of game. It was just really frustrating. We played the library "game" and since we were at college library we tried to play the game by walking around the library. It said to visit college library and visit at least two floors. We walked all over the library and all around outside too and it kept saying we are near the library and near a "max" dude and we tapped on the library when it was near but thats as far as we could ever get. We could never actually do anything or get an achievements or anything, it just wouldn't do anything after we did what it said and touched what it said to touch on the screen.

Now, we probably could have been playing this game wrong or not know exactly how to work it which is actually probable. However, thats just an excuse I (we) feel like. This app is really hard to understand and navigate. This is suppose to be a "game". There's no fun in an app with a nearly impossible user interface, no clear directions,  and possibly glitchy and not-working-perfectly stuff like when it wouldn't acknowledge we did the task it wanted us to do.

This obviously works for others so maybe it was just us and we did it wrong. But it was a pretty frustrating experience and obviously we are not going to try to play on this app for too long of a time so we gave up after a while and just wrote this blog post. This app isn't a bad idea, but it's not an app that's going to gain much popularity most likely, especially with the way it works right now.

we = Adam, Kevin N, Jay L, Kyle P

Sunday, November 16, 2014

GO BIG RED EVENT - I Am Malala and the Question of Women’s Education in South Asia

On November 11th from 4pm to 6pm, I had the opportunity to participate in the discussion of the “Embattled Ideologies: I Am Malala and the Question of Women’s Education in South Asia” at Law Building. This brought four scholars who were Tayyab Zaidi, a doctoral student in Educational Policy Studies at our school, Nancy Kendall, associate professor of Education Policy Studies also at our school, Omar Qureshi, principal of Islamic Foundation School, and finally Sidra Rind, a UW Madison PhD student in the Department of Educational Policy Studies. They presented with their thoughts on women’s education in tribal Pakistan, historical encounter of Islam and modernity, and cultural issues of international aid all based on their experience and knowledge.
Sindra, a student from Balochistan, is the only one with a PhD in her tribe. It was interesting to see an actual student from Pakistan and hear her perspectives on the issue. Her main points was about gender equality in Pakistan’s education and how United Nations need to bring attention more to the importance of women’s education. Omar Qureshi explored more on what Mallala phenomenon meant for United States. He compared this phenomenon with Nabila who lost her grandmother from US military drone strikes. He stated that since Nabila did not physically get injured, she did not cause as much impact as Mallala did. Mallala tried to find justification but Nabilia only questioned and put US in an uncomfortable position. He concluded by claiming that we need to look at this country with enlightenment understanding of religion and violence, being irrational. Overall, it was very interesting to see the four scholars and hear their professional perspectives on one of the international issues that are most discussed today.